Jang Mi-ran, one of the most decorated female weightlifters, has decided to call it a career, her father said Tuesday.
“Mi-ran told me she wanted to retire from weightlifting,” said Jang Ho-cheol, the weightlifter’s father. “She’d been contemplating her future and called me Monday night saying she will announce her retirement at a press conference (this Thursday).”
Jang, 29, walks away with an Olympic gold and four world championships in the heaviest weight class for female lifters, over-75 kilograms. She has also won an Asian Games gold and an Asian championship title in her class.
|Jang Mi-ran. (The Korea Herald)|
Jang finished fourth at the London Olympics last summer, falling well short of defending her gold from the Beijing Games in 2008.
In Beijing, Jang smashed world records in each of the snatch, clean and jerk, and total weight with 140 kg, 186 kg and 326 kg, respectively.
In the four years since the Beijing Olympics, though, Jang was slowed by nagging injuries and was surpassed by younger lifters, such as Zhou Lulu of China and Tatiana Kashirina of Russia.
Kashirina broke Jang’s world record in the snatch in 2010, while Zhou set the new standard for total weight in 2011.
Then in the symbolic, changing-of-the-guards moment in London, Zhou broke her own world record for total weight with 333 kg to win the gold medal. Kashirina won the silver, after shattering her own snatch world record twice. Jang was a distant fourth at 289 kg.
Following the London Olympics, Jang had been noncommittal about her future. South Korean weightlifting officials had reportedly been hoping she would remain active until the 2014 Asian Games in the South Korean city of Incheon. (Yonhap News)